Effort is a HUGE thing for me. I’m sure it is for a lot of folks and businesses worldwide but I don’t care for sweeping generalizations right now. I don’t care for a lot of generalizations most of the time, but that’s a topic for a different blog.
This is all about effort. Effort from both myself and others I’m fortunate enough to have in my life. This includes friends, family, peers and anyone else that fits the bill.
Let me preface by saying the following:
I’m aware that everyone’s effort is not a machine built of consistency and routine. It wanes and comes and goes based on an endless set of factors. Life gets in the way, stress, pressure, work, family, deadlines. And of course mental illness and the inner struggles with demons we’ve named but not quite killed just yet are to be considered as well. So when I talk about piss-poor effort or the lack thereof, I AM factoring all of the above reasons. If you’re someone like me, you can tell the difference between an effort that once was but is no longer there and an effort that was drained away because life can be a vicious life-sucking bitch, to which there is no escape (name this movie…!).
Effort is defined as “a vigorous or determined attempt.” In other words, you give it your all, no matter the outcome. You put your time and energy, your blood, sweat and tears and you don’t fucking stop. Not even to see if your veins are bled dry, your shirt is soaked through and you’ve cried your last tear. You keep on giving it all you have and you don’t waver.
And I know, it’s exhausting to read the above and not want to lie down and take a nap. But this form of effort isn’t just for everything – or everyone. No one can consistently give 100% day in and day out; like I mentioned above, there are a LOT of things that can happen daily to sidetrack or unravel even the most extremely dedicated among us.
But when I think of effort – from either myself or the folks closest to me – it all comes down to consistency. How often am I, or they, showing up and giving it our best? How many times do we check in on ourselves AND with our friends? If we start a project, how hard are we working to see it through to completion? Or if it’s an ongoing effort (zing), are we always putting our absolute best foot first?
And so what does it mean if we sometimes put our best forward and sometimes we don’t? What if we once gave it our all but slowly and surely eased the acceleration to suddenly find ourselves at a dead stop? Does this mean that what we wanted or hoped for is something we don’t hope for or want anymore?
What’s the distinguishing line? How can we distinguish it?
That’s the part that remains utterly elusive to me, because people come and people go and very few times do I find that effort is fully returned. And I can’t blame anyone but myself, and so I do, but after a while, I’m going to find resentment dwelling in my blood more than forgiveness or benefits of doubt.
I don’t want that. I don’t want to be full of ugly “look what they did after saying they’d never” feelings because I might as well dig the grave now then.
So in a shock even to me, I’m releasing it all. I’m not going to hold anyone – or myself – accountable for what they give in return. I can only choose what to put forth for my behalf and I will always go 0-100, all in, every time, no matter what. That’s me. If that’s not anyone else’s style, then that’s okay. I can walk away and find peace in knowing I never gave up or gave in or shunned their effort. I can sleep at night and not accuse myself of being too much to handle, too emotional, too attached, too blah fucking blah.
Like one of the greatest movies taught me… this is me.
In the end, give or don’t give, but you know where I am and where I’ll always be.